Variants. Of Something.

So now we are to fear the Xi “Omicron” ChinCOVID variant. A “variant” symptomatically notable for:

1. Apparently not killing anyone

2. Being very mild, generally causing tiredness

Yet somehow this variant calls for a variant-specific “vaccine;” something no one seemed to think needed for beta, gamma, delta … mu…

But now we have another notable difference between Xi “Omicron” and all the other ChinCOVID variants.

Researchers from Nference, a Cambridge, Mass.-based firm that analyzes biomedical information, sequenced omicron and found a snippet of genetic code that is also present in a virus that can bring about a cold. They say this particular mutation could have occurred in a host simultaneously infected by SARS-CoV-2, also known as the novel coronavirus, and the HCoV-229E coronavirus, which can cause the common cold. The shared genetic code with HCoV-229E has not been detected in other novel coronavirus variants, the scientists said.

Well, yeah. Genetic exchange when a cell has been invaded by two (or more) viruses is a classic mutation path. But seriously? SARS-CoV-2 strike>Xi “Omicron”?

It has an RNA sequence unique to to cold virus HCoV-229E; unique, not seen in any other ChinCOVID variant. A sequence that apparently makes it act like that cold virus (high transmissibility, low virulence). Is this really a SARS-CoV-2 that picked up some HCoV-229E characteristics, or is HCoV-229E that picked up some SARS-CoV-2 characteristics?

HCoV-229E-beta, anyone? Or maybe that’s HCoV-229F. Or HCoV-230.

It wouldbe nice to see a descrition of the Xi “Omicron” spike protein, so we could compare it to baseline HCoV-229E and SARS-COV-2.

If Xi “Omicron” is actually just a common cold coronavirus variant, with differing spike proteins, that might explain why this variant suddenly calls for its very own specific vaccine.